School me in engine oil

Status
Not open for further replies.
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
14
Im based in the UK and I've got a 2000 clk55. The car is well maintained by myself. I cover around 750-1500 miles per month, mainly motorway driving. My driving style is fairly sedate, but I give it a squirt now and then.

I tend to change oil when the dash display tells me to. 10000 miles roughly?
To date I've been using what I have lying around. The most recent oil change involved VW quantum 5w30 and a couple of half empty bottles of something else. Oil is oil, right?
I believe the manual specifies 229.1 or 229.3, but I know people are using 229.5 these days.

First question:
What difference does it make if using oil that does not meet recommended spec?

Second question:
What's the difference between cheap and expensive fully synthetic oil?

Third question:
What's the difference between cheap and expensive oil that meets 229.5 spec?
M1 0w40 seems to be the go to. But I can buy oil that meets the specification for half the price.

Many thanks for the help.
 
Joined
Jan 4, 2016
Messages
2,528
Location
704
Some oils pay to get their oils tested by MB and receive 229.1/3/5 certification, and get listed on official MB Approved oils list. That's the expensive oils.
Others play with wording and claim to "meet & exceed" the 229.1/3/5, but you won't find them to be officially approved by MB. That's the cheaper oils, and there is no proof that their claims are legitimate.

Don't know about UK, but in US many owners either buy the correct oil, or just use cheapest 15w40 diesel/fleet oil. In both cases engines live a long life, and it's usually the transmission or electrical gremlins that end up sending a Mercedes of that era to the junkyard, with perfectly running engines.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
11,920
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
For your 10,000 miles oil change, I feel it is important to use an oil that meets the Manufacture specifications for this engine. If two oils meet the spec, then I feel that the cheaper oil is just fine to use. Some higher prices Synthetic oil are better for the longer oil change interval like 10,000 miles. They both meets the required spec., but the synthetic with the additional additives, will provide better protection for the long oil change interval. Mobil 1 EP is one example. Ed
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
2,459
Location
United States
that engine will run with orange juice in the pan, don't worry about it

put whatever 229.5 you can find is and roll for 10k without issue. here's the official list

 
Joined
Apr 25, 2017
Messages
7,916
Location
Ohio
You don't say how many miles it is or how many you've put on it, but let's just throw out some random numbers... Say you've owned it 10 years, put 1000 miles average per month, that's 120,000 miles that you've put on it. If you've maintained the same oil change habit you mention, seems like it's working just fine, huh ? 😉 Don't overthink what's clearly working.

I can buy Castrol Edge oil that meets most M-B, VW, BMW, etc specs and pretty inexpensively ($24 for 5 quarts). What does it cost you in pounds ? I know nothing about M-B oil specs but I would hope that each newer spec, i.e. 229.3, supersedes 229.1, the previous spec, and so on. Is that the case ?
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
1,063
Location
South Wales, UK
Love seeing other people from the UK here. Makes me feel less alone.

I personally would look at one of the following...

Shell Helix Ultra 5w40
Castrol Edge 0w40
M1 FS 0w40.

If you have a costco card you can pick up the M1 0w40 for ~£30 for 5 litres.
 

hooblah

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
14
Why does the oil HAVE to meet the manufacturer's recommended spec? What's wrong with using cheap oil? Just how much extra wear will it cause? Is it even quantifiable?

I've had the car for 4 years. It's only turned into a daily in the past year, and it's currently got 125k on it.

You yanks have it cheap af! There's no way I could find FS oil for £2 a quart! You're talking £10/litre for Castrol edge. Cheapest I can find 4l (it only comes in 1l and 4l)or is £35. I've never paid more than £20 for 5l of any oil. Even that's on the high side! I've always ran budget oil... As I said, oil is oil.
I picked up the quantum stuff from TPS for £60 for 20l a while back, and it's only just run out. I doubt it's that cheap anymore. There are however a few lesser known brands that are selling the correct specification oil for that price. One of those is a brand called mannol.

Bailes that's still quite on the high side. Is there a definite benefit to spending that sort of money on oil?
 
Joined
Feb 15, 2003
Messages
12,939
Location
Jupiter, Florida
Why does the oil HAVE to meet the manufacturer's recommended spec? What's wrong with using cheap oil? Just how much extra wear will it cause? Is it even quantifiable?
It does not have to meet the spec. In fact, there are very likely to be non-spec boutique oils that do a better job in just about every measurable aspect. Including cold flow, high HTHS (high temp viscosity) adequate additive packages, shear stability and so on. It is up to you to determine if you want to go that way.

I'm not a fan of 10K oil change intervals. A great many modern engines with direct injection and low tension piston rings (not all) seriously contaminate the oil by 5000 miles. Adding an addl 5K of use simply circulates soot particulates/combustion by products, evaporated fuel and wear metals for thousands of miles.

If you pick an adequate viscosity oil, of high quality, I'd expect less wear, not more.

Oil is $6 per quart locally. Synthetic is $9 per quart. The only real bargain is at WalMart, where a 5 quart jug of standard Mobil 1 is $28. Unfortunately, we have a shortage lately and when I need oil, they don't have what I want. Which means I pay more at auto parts stores, often considerably more.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
2,459
Location
United States
bargain brand high tbn oils are something americans don’t really have access to.

in your case a cheap 5w40 or 10w40 a3/b4 is going to be more than adequate for your engine over a standard 10k interval. as you go down in price finding a 229.3 approval shouldn’t be hard
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
1,063
Location
South Wales, UK
Bailes that's still quite on the high side. Is there a definite benefit to spending that sort of money on oil?

£30 for 5 litres of M1 0w40 is cheap.

"Oil is oil" is certainly not true and if you believe that, then this place isn't for you. More expensive oils will be made from better quality basestocks, use better additive packages and will come with fully independantly tested manafacturer approvals. For example, M1 0w40 is TBN rich and with a UOA or two you might find you could go 20k to 25k on it.

If you're looking for cheap then you might just be better off with a 'fleet' heavy duty engine oil. Something like Millers Oils Multifleet 15w40 which can be picked up for sub £20 for 5 litres.


I really don't understand why you would elect to run a CLK55 if you don't want to spend (not a lot of) money maintinaing it. I assume you use the cheapest, nastiest motorfactors oil filters also and shove budget tyres on the thing also.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Aug 26, 2009
Messages
308
Location
UK
How many miles had the car done?

My car 2003 specifies 5w30 but I used Mob 1 0w40 since new. better fuel cinsumotion & cold start in the winter.
If you engine does not burn any oil, then I owuld recommend trying it, if it does, then a 5W40.

Sedate pace on morotway puts very little stress on the engine but personally I would go for a xw40 if I want to keep 10 k OCI.

I would choose Mobil, vavolin, sheell or petronas. Castrol us not for me
 

hooblah

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
14
Sorry, could I ask that we keep acronyms and technical jargon to a minimal please? I don't understand any of it. I'd like to learn, so if you're going to put it, please explain what you mean, e.g. TBN, UOA etc. y

Unfortunately none of the oils for sale that I've seen state anything about additive packages. It makes it hard to discern what's what.

Is it worth spending £120 for 20l of M1, rather than £60 for 20l of budget oil that meets the 229.5 spec?
People talk about wear, but realistically how much less wear or more protection will M1 give me? The days of engines needing rebuilds at 100k are long behind us. Engines generally outlast the vehicles they are in if oil changes are regular. Are there any stories of budget oil causing problems?

I'm not trying to put anyone down or dismiss the idea that all oil is not equal, merely playing devils advocate in asking for justification and reasoning for spending double the amount for what in my opinion has no quantifiable benefit.

Bailes, I didn't say that I don't spend money on this car. I just put on a set of Michelin ps4's. I don't see the point in wasting money on things where the benefit isn't measurable.

Bonjo, the car has 125k on the clock. Why would you only choose those brands?
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
2,264
You’re going to get a lot of different Answers.

Here’s mine. Oil is oil, BUT some are better than others. Lots of factors, base stocks, additives, formulas. And of course marketing and price. Hopefully the oil that you buy has a certification that meets or exceeds manufacturer recommendations. If so? I’d go with price. I’d go with the best oil you can get on sale, with the certification.

I’m not a big fan of 10,000 mile oil changes (although I’m attempting my first one right now with Mobil1 EP). If you must do them, I’d think the idea of “oil is just oil” is a little too thin (no pun intended). If you’re doing 10,000 mike intervals, I’d use an oil that claims it can do that. And I’d maybe pay a little more for it, but you should be able to find plenty at reasonable cost, and or on sale.

There are many that will claim to get yourself a UOA, and they’re probably right, however you’ll probably need two to determine what your ideal interval will be. And somewhere around 90% of the UOA’s I’ve read, read very similar and say, “your oil and engine are doing great, try an additional 2,000 miles and check in again”. And there goes $50-$60 bucks.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
2,459
Location
United States
I’m not a big fan of 10,000 mile oil changes (although I’m attempting my first one right now with Mobil1 EP). If you must do them, I’d think the idea of “oil is just oil” is a little too thin (no pun intended). If you’re doing 10,000 mike intervals, I’d use an oil that claims it can do that. And I’d maybe pay a little more for it, but you should be able to find plenty at reasonable cost, and or on sale.
they don’t claim 10,000 miles because it’s the absolute bare minimum for even the most bargain basement oils.

vw505, 229.1, acea a3/b3 = 10k

229.5, a40, a3/b4 = 20k
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2005
Messages
22,937
Location
Upper Midwest
Unfortunately none of the oils for sale that I've seen state anything about additive packages. It makes it hard to discern what's what.
But they all should list the approvals, licenses and specifications the oil meets or carries, right? Or are you saying you're able to read the tea leaves of a typical properties PDS and predict future performance? I know I can't.

I know you'd rather skirt the issue but those things I listed above are the only verifiable metrics of performance.
 
Joined
Jan 18, 2020
Messages
2,459
Location
United States
Sorry, could I ask that we keep acronyms and technical jargon to a minimal please? I don't understand any of it. I'd like to learn, so if you're going to put it, please explain what you mean, e.g. TBN, UOA etc. y
Is it worth spending £120 for 20l of M1, rather than £60 for 20l of budget oil that meets the 229.5 spec?
you need to make sure that bargain oil is actually listed in the 229.5 database.

229.5 is suitable for longer drains than an oil that claims 229.1 or acea a3/b3. for your needs there’s nothing wrong with a cheap and honest semi-syn oil with 229.1 or vw501 approval.

your engine is durable and does not care
 
Joined
Mar 10, 2017
Messages
1,063
Location
South Wales, UK
Is it worth spending £120 for 20l of M1, rather than £60 for 20l of budget oil that meets the 229.5 spec?

There's a huge difference between an oil that has Mercedes 229.5 approval and just having "suitable for" or "meets and exceeds" on the back of the bottle. The one that has been approved has been tested independantly by Mercedes Benz to ensure the specification is met. The other you will be trusting the oil manafcturer.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2014
Messages
2,264
they don’t claim 10,000 miles because it’s the absolute bare minimum for even the most bargain basement oils.

vw505, 229.1, acea a3/b3 = 10k

229.5, a40, a3/b4 = 20k
Gotcha. You know what I did? I didn’t specifically consider European certifications/cars/intervals. My bad.
 

hooblah

Thread starter
Joined
Feb 20, 2022
Messages
14
But they all should list the approvals, licenses and specifications the oil meets or carries, right? Or are you saying you're able to read the tea leaves of a typical properties PDS and predict future performance? I know I can't.

I know you'd rather skirt the issue but those things I listed above are the only verifiable metrics of performance.
If you read my posts, you'll find that's exactly what I've stated. M1 Vs cheapo FS don't tell you a single thing about what differentiates them on the bottle. Both bottles say what spec it meets, but that's about it. It says nothing about its make up. Only the price is double or more for M1. Without lab analysis, who's to say there's any difference at all?


you need to make sure that bargain oil is actually listed in the 229.5 database.
Where do I find this database?
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top